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EMBO J. 1998 Sep 15;17(18):5374-87.

Identification and analysis of PH domain-containing targets of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase using a novel in vivo assay in yeast.

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The Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine and Department of Pharmacology, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) mediates a variety of cellular responses by generating PtdIns(3,4)P2 and PtdIns(3,4,5)P3. These 3-phosphoinositides then function directly as second messengers to activate downstream signaling molecules by binding pleckstrin homology (PH) domains in these signaling molecules. We have established a novel assay in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to identify proteins that bind PtdIns(3,4)P2 and PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 in vivo which we have called TOPIS (Targets of PI3K Identification System). The assay uses a plasma membrane-targeted Ras to complement a temperature-sensitive CDC25 Ras exchange factor in yeast. Coexpression of PI3K and a fusion protein of activated Ras joined to a PH domain known to bind PtdIns(3,4)P2 (AKT) or PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 (BTK) rescues yeast growth at the non-permissive temperature of 37 degreesC. Using this assay, we have identified several amino acids in the beta1-beta2 region of PH domains that are critical for high affinity binding to PtdIns(3,4)P2 and/or PtdIns(3,4,5)P3, and we have proposed a structural model for how these PH domains might bind PI3K products with high affinity. From these data, we derived a consensus sequence which predicts high-affinity binding to PtdIns(3, 4)P2 and/or PtdIns(3,4,5)P3, and we have identified several new PH domain-containing proteins that bind PI3K products, including Gab1, Dos, myosinX, and Sbf1. Use of this assay to screen for novel cDNAs which rescue yeast at the non-permissive temperature should provide a powerful approach for uncovering additional targets of PI3K.

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